New York Disposing of Over 700,000 Gallons of Hand Sanitizer
According to a report by Greg Floyd of WRGB, New York has contracted a company to dispose of over 700,000 gallons of unused and expired hand sanitizer being kept on an old airport runway.
In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer seemed to be worth its weight in gold. Grocery store shelves were fully cleaned out and some people even took to the internet to sell their own excess hand sanitizer for a profit. But now that restrictions caused by Covid-19 have eased in New York, the demand for hand sanitizer has drastically fallen back to somewhat normal levels. That leaves New York with over 700,000 gallons of unused and expired hand sanitizer just sitting on an old airport runway.
According to Floyd's report, the state spent approximately $4.3 million to manufacture the unused hand sanitizer, and now will have to pay Eastman Kodak to remove it. Floyd's report did not indicate how much that would cost the state, but did note that the estimated time to complete the project is 44 weeks. The company will extract the alcohol in the expired hand sanitizer to be recycled for manufacturing use.
According to a report by Joseph Spector of Politico, former New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo used prison labor at three state facilities from March 2020 to October 2020 to make the hand sanitizer. In that report from May, Spector said that New York planned to sell the hand sanitizer at an auction over the summer and give the proceeds to FEMA. Apparently that auction never happened, as a few months later the hand sanitizer is now expired and unable to be given away.